It seems like there is a causal wave seeping into fashion and it’s being embraced by both comfort lovers and style enthusiasts everywhere. The days where you can wear sweatpants and look cool are upon us, friends. This sent from heaven style is called… Athleisure, combining athletic + leisure.

The Athleisure look is made up of casual yet stylish combinations like cool sneakers, causal jackets, joggers, chinos, polo shirts, sweaters, t-shirts and other menswear essentials all worn with a sporty touch. These pieces are meant to be worn on the weekend, while you run errands, hang out with friends and anywhere else you can dress casually. So, how does one embrace this casual style without looking like you’re back in high school and just put on the first thing your sleepy eyes saw? This post will show you how to rock the Athleisure look like a modern stylish gentlemen, all the while keeping comfort top of mind.

Sporty Hoodie + T-Shirt + Rolled Jeans + White Sneakers = Athleisure

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The image above is an example of sleek Athleisure style. The hoodie brings in the sporty touch, while the rolled jeans and white sneakers bring in the casual day to day wear. Notice details like hidden socks and rolled up jeans to really style this otherwise casual look.

The Athleisure Look Checklist

You can wear a lot of pieces from casual to dressy with your look, but there are some key pieces that help you set up a base. I’ll break down each piece down further below, but your essentials are: bomber jacket, shirt jacket, denim jacket, full zip sweatshirt/hoodie, polo shirt, t-shirt, crew neck sweaters, henley, joggers, chinos and sneakers. You don’t need all of them, but see which ones look good to you and filter (i.e. you might like a bomber jacket over the shirt jacket, you don’t need both).

The key to athleisiure is intention. You are intending for your look to be casual, but more importantly, stylish. Having the basics I mentioned above will help you build a base and then you can incorporate pieces from your wardrobe to add to the look. For example, you can layer your outfit with dressy items like cardigans and overcoats, but keep it sporty with joggers and sneakers. The same goes for leather jackets. You can totally wear jeans with Athleisure, just make sure they are slim and roll them up for a styled look.

Notice the socks in this look, they are intentional and look pretty stylish

A leather jacket with a sweater or hoodie under looks great

Photo Credit: J. Crew, Fastbest

Notice the look is styled around the shoes, this is intention

A track suit? Yup! The white shoes and no show socks make this look modern and stylish

Photo Credit: Articles of Style, Gentlemen Within

Alright, let me break the pieces down a bit further….

First, get some cool sneakers

Photo Credit: Esquire, Nike BeTrue Collection

I know in some of my previous posts I told you to ditch the workout shoes and get some dressy leather sneakers, but thanks to Athleisure, we can incorporate some cool athletic sneakers into your look. You can go as bold or subtle as you want.

Bold Sneakers

The subtle camo shirt jacket doesn’t take away from the bold sneakers

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Remember the days when everyone was snagging a pair of Jordans, Air Force Ones and all the other cool sneaker collaborations entering the market? Well, sneaker-heads will show you it’s definitely still a thing. Having a pair of interesting sneakers is a style statement, if worn right! Again, the key here is intention. I noted in the 4th set of looks above that the guy styled his outfit around the sneaker and it looks really cool. If your shoes are busy, consider keeping the rest of your outfit neutral or with subtle hints of color.

Nike x Off White Collab

Nike x Commes des Garcons Collab

Want to check out some of the top collaborations with plenty of bold choices? Here ya go!

Dressy Sneakers

mens CK tshirt with black jeans and stan smith white sneaker athleisure

Photo Credit: @MagicFox

Bold sneakers seem a little out there? No problem! Stick to a simple dressy leather sneaker to achieve a classic street style. If you like having a bit of detail, go for a pair with an accent. Check my article on how to wear dressy leather sneakers for additional tips on how to style them and some of my favorite brands.

Pharrell x Adidas Collab

Paul Smith Sneakers w/ Accent

Socks

You will notice in most of the photos the ankles are exposed and it really ties the look together, which works great for Spring and Summer. For colder days, you can show some sock, i’ll explain below…

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: I Am Galla

If you’ve read my other articles, you know how I feel about no-show socks. These are key when it comes to wearing sneakers with joggers and chinos for a modern and stye conscious look. Need a good pair that don’t slip when you walk? Check these out!

Showing Socks

Sock color and texture compliments the blue

Photo Credit: J. Crew

Alternatively, if you do want to show some sock, show it with intention. You want the sock color to compliment the rest of your outfit. Going for socks with a bit of texture or pattern is fine as long as it adds to your outfit.

Slub Socks have Texture

A fun print can add to a neutral look

Photo Credit: J. Crew

Jackets

Having that perfect jacket to top off your casual look takes it to the next level. This is where casual layers like denim, bomber and shirt jackets come into play. If you want to learn about all the different types of jackets, check out this post.

Bomber Jackets

mens bomber jacket white sneaker black jeans athleisure look

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Bomber jackets are essential to the athleisure look because they are the perfect mix between casual and stylish. Bombers come in many different materials like suede for a bit of dressy look or cotton with spandex, which basically feels like a sweatshirt, for a more casual look. Note: if you have an oval body type, bomber jackets with an elastic band at the bottom will exaggerate it, go for one that doesn’t have an elastic band.

Flat neck bomber jacket with elastic band at the bottom

Suede collar bomber jacket without the elastic band at the bottom

Photo Credit: Everlane, ASOS

Shirt Jackets aka Shacket

mens suede shirt jacket chinos white sneakers hoodie outfit athleisure

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Shirt jackets aka shackets are pretty cool! You can go as thick or thin as you want, weather pending of course. Pairing this layer with your joggers, chinos or jeans elevates your look.

Thin cotton shacket

Thicker down-filled shacket

Photo Credit: ASOS, Common People

Denim Jacket

mens joggers with jean jacket and hoodie athleisure outfit

Photo Credit: Crystalin Marie

Denim jackets are the perfect layer that go with chinos, joggers and hybrid pants (i.e. a jogger chino or technical wear chino). Wearing hoodies or unbuttoned flannel shirts under your denim jacket is an excellent way to add warmth for the colder days. You can also wear jackets or overcoats on top of your denim jacket.

Photo Credit: Everlane, 7 for All Mankind

Joggers

Photo Credit: Nautica

Joggers are an essential piece for your athleisure look. If worn right, you can look effortlessly stylish. If worn wrong, you’ll look like that kid in high school gym class. Joggers come in many materials and styles like sweatpants or chinos. However, I encourage you to look into some “dressier” joggers like the striped ones below.

Dressier joggers for a stand-out style

Hybrid chino-jogger

Photo Credit: Top Shop, Nordstrom

Chinos

mens ted baker chinos sneakers scarf button down athleisure look blazer
A dressy athleisure look = button down, sporty blazer, chinos and sneakers

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

Chinos are a must have for a sophisticated athleisure look. If you read my Technical Wear article, I mentioned tech wear chinos, these are your best friends for comfort and style. The key here is to roll them up at the bottom and expose some ankle for a styled look. The look pictured above is how to turn an otherwise dressy look into an athleisure look.

Rolled up chinos

Anke cut chinos with a drawstring

Photo Credit: Goodman Brand, Wesc (Nordstrom)

Polo Shirts

mens athleisure polo shirt chinos white sneakers outfit

Photo Credit: What My Boyfriend Wore

Some people cringe at the thought of polo shirts, it reminds them of what their mom used to make them wear when they were young. First, I give you permission to forget the past. Polo shirts, both long sleeve and short, help achieve that sporty-luxe look we’re going for. They key here is to find polo shirts with cool and modern details. Alternatively, if you don’t like stand out details, go for colors like deep burgundy, green or black for a sleeker look. Also, you can go for technical fabrics to keep up with the sporty look (i.e. not cotton).

Ted Baker makes fun polo shirts with a sporty touch

The arm details makes this not your average dad polo shirt

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

Wearing a Suit as Athleisure

Casual fabric suit + t-shirt + no show socks + white sneakers

Photo Credit: The Unstitched

If you really want to step up your style and sophistication with athleisure, wear a casual suit with some sneakers and a neck t-shirt. This look is very classy and is sure to turn heads. The key here is to go for suits with casual fabrics like cotton, linen or technical fabrics and pair the look with a crew neck t-shirt. The details matter, exposing some ankle with your casual suit makes it more intentional.

Has your mind been blown? You can look stylish and be comfortable! It’s a thing and it’s awesome. You will notice the details matter when it comes to the Athleisure look like rolling your pants, no-show socks, and layering to name a few, so definitely keep those in mind. You can add in accessories like bags and hats like beanies if you have a need for them.

Hope you enjoyed the article! See you in the next one…

Supreet Chahal

Supreet is a Fashion Stylist from San Francisco, CA. She helps both men and women establish a sense of style and dress with confidence. If you want to work 1:1 with Supreet, visit StyleBySupreet.com. If you're a guy looking to learn more about style, check out PocketStylist.io, a site dedicated to teaching men how to dress well.

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